The past week has been, in a word, EFFING CRAZY. OK, two words.

We have officially moved. And I am officially in love with the new apartment, despite the boxes and bags all over the place and the fact that many of my clothes are in suitcases awaiting the MALM dressers coming from IKEA on the weekend. The move itself was probably my best move yet. We weren't necessarily more organized, but we did have a lot of time to move so we were pretty relaxed. This means that we were not killing each other over little things. We even tried to enjoy the process, to the extent that moving can ever be enjoyable.

There were a few touch-and-go moments. The first was when I got caught trying to throw some items out that had not officially been designated as trash. By him. Busted. The second, and more serious, incident was when we finally arrived with our movers at the new place - a 40 minute drive from our old place - and I realized that I had brilliantly left the key to the new apartment in the old apartment. Idiotic. Luckily, our landlords were home and helped us out. More serious than that was when our "professional" movers announced that our 37", 7.5 foot long couches would not fit through the doorways or windows and that there was no way that they could get them into our apartment. I nearly barfed. Because the couches were WHY we hired movers. We could have moved most of our crap ourselves but the couches are huge and require a truck. So, we paid them to drop the couches off in our driveway and leave, leaving us standing there wondering what to do with two 7.5 foot long couches that won't fit in the house when our landlord comes over and wants to try fitting them through the back entrance. The entrance that the movers didn't try because they said that it was mathematically impossible to get the couches through the door and around the sharp corner they'd have to turn to get into the living room. They know this because they are "professionals".

Well, EFF YOU "professionals"! Because not 15 minutes later, K and I were arranging our couches into our preferred formation in the living room. It does make absolutely no mathematical sense that they made it into this room but they did and we are ecstatic, because they are a part of the family.

And because selling things sucks.

So, we're here. We have a lot of unpacking to do, but it's a work in progress. It's so quiet that it's almost eerie at night. Just frogs and wind.

I love me some frogs and wind.


So, I read this blog on a semi-regular basis...I'd say 2 or three times a month. She usually blogs more than once a day, but I enjoy watching her bump her net worth up and she's sent me in the direction of some good deals. Plus, she's from my beloved hometown, so I feel like we have something in common. A kinship, if you will. Whatever. I like her blog. Anyways, her blog is all about personal finance, though she's pretty real and honest and talks a lot about her life, hobbies, plans, etc. as well and last week, she decided to buy a car. A car that is worth approximately what her net worth was calculated to be prior to the purchase, with a difference of about $5K. While I was surprised at the purchase (I started reading the blog back when she was clawing her way out of heavy student debt and wouldn't spend a penny on herself without overanalyzing every other possible use for said penny), that's about the extent of the thought I gave it. She bought a car. Good for her. While driving a brand new car off the lot isn't really my bag, I can see the allure. She's worked hard to save money and really, who cares?

OH...a lot of people care. She posted about the purchase and was greeted with a shitstorm of comments about how irresponsible a purchase she had just made. Comments from complete strangers under the impression that their opinions, somehow, matter. And then she responds back with a well-worded post that essentially said PFO without saying PFO to the trolls and explained, though she didn't have to, that her blog is her blog and her money is her money. And THAT illicited another shitstorm from people who have way, WAY too much time on their hands.

What a bunch of morons.

I think about this sometimes - this whole blog thing. What is it really about, and why do we do it? I started my blog, my original (more fabulous than this blog) blog to stay in touch with friends who are far away, and share pictures and random thoughts. Then I felt like it was too general, so I tried to make it more specific, about a certain aspect of my life. Then that got boring, so I made it general again. And then I stopped blogging altogether for a long time, and then I revived my blogging self by starting this blog when we decided to move to the Rock, expecting to document the many fascinating aspects of our new adventure.

And then we realized that life on the Rock is just life...on a rock.

And now I'm back to a general, rambling blog that no one can really learn anything useful from, other than my occasional product reviews and why I love sleep masks (very useful) and how homesick I get sometimes (even more useful).

Honestly, I blog because I like to write. And if no one ever reads this...I'm OK with that. Writing is something I have done, in various forms, since I could hold a pencil. I wrote stories about ponies and Indians (seriously) when I was a kid because, for whatever reason, I felt like ponies and Indians were a story that needed to be told.

This blog is my story. INCREDIBLY BORING at times, but a story, nonetheless. I can look back at my old blog, which started in 2005, and remember what it was like when Kurt and I were a brand new couple. When I still thought I would be back in Victoria in 2008. What it was like to have a difficult time scrounging up rent money, and what it was like to live with mental roommates. I can remember the bitter cold of Ottawa winters and the excitement leading up to holidays. The turmoil surrounding our move to the Rock and the period of uncertainty before we were both settled into jobs. It's all there, still, just where I left it.

Sometimes, that creeps me out. But mostly, I like it.

Reasons why this week is complete horse shit.

  1. Movers arrive on Saturday. Totally not ready.
  2. Unable to drive car for most of the week, which was dedicated to moving stuff. Why? Oh, because we got a $1,750 traffic fine for driving unlicensed, unknowingly. We have to go to Court. FML.
  3. I ruined my new purse by getting caught in a torrential downpour on Monday.
  4. The tooth I went to Toronto to have fixed is not fixed. Back on another 2 rounds of antibiotics AND...back to Toronto very soon. FML. I'm on the verge of saying "pull it".
  5. I look like a chipmunk (refer to #4).
  6. I'm starting a new job on Tuesday and am about 3 weeks away from wrapping up my current job.
  7. We got our first tax penalty. Not a lot, but enough to annoy me.
  8. Stressed to my breaking point.

FML. Seriously. Everything about my week has been astonishingly horrendous.


Someone sent me this today. Three runners, two marathoners and a half-marathoner died during the Detroit marathon on Sunday, at ages 26, 35, and 65. They say it's a fluke and likely related to heart disease, in all three cases.


I knew it was no walk in the park, but never seriously considered that it was something that could kill you if you had properly trained and were ready for it.

The quote that bothered me the most, besides the tragic news itself:

"In general, somewhere between 1-in-50,000 and 1-in-75,000 people who finish a marathon will die from it. So three deaths at an event with 19,000 registered runners is high, but not necessarily off-the-charts, statistically speaking. "

Depressing. Puts me off a tad.

In unrelated news, I now have a learner's license, which means I am officially a driver in training. It was a minor production, much like every other simple, mundane errand which somehow becomes infinitely more complicated by simple virtue of being HERE, but it's over and done with and my test is next Tuesday.

Better start practicing those figure eights...

Out of Touch.

The past week has been kind of nuts. On Monday night, I bought a scooter. I got it for a great price (secondhand) and since I was planning on buying one when we moved anyways, I figured might as well jump on a deal now and learn to ride before crap weather descends upon us. It's like the one below, except a year older. Very cute. Very easy to ride...apparently. We went to practice on a friend's bike this afternoon (a.k.a. The Bike Formerly Known as Ashleigh's) and I did OK. I zipped around through some cones and, after figuring out that turning right is similar to turning left, except the opposite, I was OK. I have to go get a learner's license and then the actually driving test and out. I'll have wheels.

Another item we accomplished last week was the ordering of overpriced IKEA furniture from the local overpriced IKEA furniture ordering place. Actually, it's not terrible. It's a bit much to see the catalog price next to the price with the surcharge, but we're pretty much covering the cost of the new stuff with the money we're making from selling off a bunch of our old stuff so really...who cares? It's a wash. Except we like the new stuff and the old stuff...not so much. So far, we've sold the dresser we hate, the headboard we hate, the TV cabinet that weighs 1000 pounds and a lamp that irritated me from the moment it came through the door. It came as a package deal with some other things we'd bought and now, two years later, I finally kicked it out. Into the loving arms of a girl who had big plans for refinishing it. Game on.

Besides all of that, we've just been packing, loading up the car, driving to the new place, dropping off, and then starting all over again. This has been a pretty stress-free move, really. Our furniture is being picked up on Saturday morning, so this time next week we should be all settled. Maybe not totally unpacked, but getting there. I'm so excited. I love love love the new apartment.

In other news, I am totally addicted to lime Perrier.


That was a LONG week. The kind of week that takes three weeks to finish and, by the time it's actually over, you're so wiped out that you can't think of anything better to do on Friday night than watch a movie and use as few brain cells as possible. Mission accomplished.

After a solid 8 hours (thank you, sleep mask and earplugs), I'm ready to face the weekend. Today, we're taking our first load of "stuff" to the house. A random assortment, indeed. Bikes, golf clubs, yoga mat, bedding. You know, the basics. Actually, while it is fantastic to have a month to move, it's also difficult to figure out what you're not going to need to continue to function daily. Sadly, I can live without my yoga mat because it hasn't been used in months.

We're also going to check out scooters today because I need one, STAT. I had one, which I never used, but I sold it back in February. The location of our new place means that we're scooting to work, so unless I want to be up with the roosters to go with Kurt, I'm going to have to suck it up and learn how to drive one...on the left.

Another errand for today is to select/purchase some necessary occasional furniture. Bookcases and dressers, namely, from the one place on the Rock that offers IKEA furniture, at a mere 175% mark-up over US retail. Awesome! Eff.

New Discovery.

Does anyone else sleep with a sleep mask on?

Our room is huge and very bright during both day and night. There are two large windows on two different walls, one of which faces a streetlight, and the other faces a building with security lights. So, at any given time in the night, I can totally count the number of pashminas that I have stacked up on the dresser. Bright.

After a year or so of living here, I realized that I am constantly "foggy". Most days, I wake up with my head full of cotton and it takes me ages to bounce back (and a double-shot of espresso) to jolt me to life. I have blamed this on everything I can think of. At first, I thought it was our bed. Then, I blamed allergies. Next, I blamed Kurt. Finally, it occurred to me that while I get plenty of sleep, it's probably not of the highest quality.

Besides the brightness of our bedroom, there is also quite a bit of noise from the street. Regular traffic, yes, but also the lovely noise from morons who pull over to use the bank machine and leave their stereos going full blast, windows down, doors open. Every night. And while it doesn't always wake me up completely, I'm guessing that the noise, mixed with the light, probably has me up multiple times each night and I don't even know it. Meaning that the really deep sleep that we all need (but which requires no interruptions and complete darkness) was probably not even happening, most nights.

Any new Mom would probably say "big effin' deal". But considering that I have lived here for two years, I've potentially gone a very long time without regular, proper sleep. So new Mom's can stuff it. I may not be waking up because of a screaming child, but is Tupac any less annoying at 3:00 a.m.? And again at 5:00? On a Sunday?

The last time I flew home, I purchased a $3.00 sleep mask at the airport, thinking that it might help me actually sleep on the redeye. And it did. So, I tried it at home during a formerlly impossible afternoon nap and guess what? It worked wonders. So, combined with earplugs (which I have slept with regularly for years, on and off), I brought it into the regular bedtime routine and I can't even tell you what a difference this has made in only one week. ONE WEEK. I wake up after fewer hours of sleep, feeling better. The cotton is gone. The IBD diet doesn't allow for caffeine, so I've been going without my double-shots for 11 days problem. I don't wake up until the alarm goes off (an hour before I normally get up, but Kurt leaves early), and today I felt so good that I got up with him (again, ONE HOUR before I would normally get up) and we made breakfast together.

I'm going to invest in a "real" one because I'm not positive that my $3.00 wonder will last much longer, but I am so thrilled that such a simple thing can make such a difference.

Our new place, by the way, is much, MUCH quieter. When we visited on Sunday, I stood in the backyard and just listened and all I could hear were birds, frogs and wind. Lovely.

Home Sweet Home.

This morning, we went over to see our new place and take some photos. It is just as adorable and gorgeous as we remembered and now I'm even more excited to move in. It's hard to imagine what it will be like because it's totally empty now besides our bedroom set, but once our furniture is moved in and set up, I think it's going to be a very happy little home.

Awesome News.

I just spoke with our new landlords and they told us that the previous tenants moved back to the U.K. at the beginning of the month and that we can start moving our stuff in anytime. But our lease doesn't start until November 1st. So, we pretty much have a month to move. I'm so happy about this because the week that we were supposed to move, I'm starting my new position and doing a handover of my current job, so it's going to be a stressful week at work. Now, we can start taking car-loads of stuff over a few times a week and hopefully that last week, we'll just have to arrange to have the bigger furniture moved and have it cleaned.

SO. Excited.

I love the new apartment. We're going over to see it tomorrow and take measurements, so I'll get some photos.

Fall TV.

We don't have cable. That does NOT mean that I haven't checked out nearly all of the offerings of Fall TV 2009. And because I'm sure my opinions are valuable to someone, here are my reviews:

NEW no particular order:

Cougar Town: I love Courtney Cox. It's 21:00 minutes of Courtney Cox being neurotic, eccentric and fairly hilarious. So...Monica. Incidentally, my favorite Friend. I've only seen the pilot but I'd like to see more.

Glee: Again, only seen the pilot but I'll watch more. I was fully entertained and the tunes are catchy. It's kind of High School Musical (shudder) meets Election meets Summer Heights High without Mr. G. I like it.

Melrose Place: No. Thanks. I watched the first episode and thought that the hour could have been better spent doing laundry. Not surprising, seeing as I wasn't a huge fan of the original either.

The Beautiful Life: Gossip Girl meets Eighth & Ocean meets America's Next Top Model (in the sense that the models live in the same house). I got totally hooked on this after only two episodes only to find out that they pulled it off the air before episode 3 aired this week. What? Apparently due to low viewership. A quick Google search proved that I was not the only one enticed into this one, despite the main character being Mischa Barton who ranks slightly behind Miley Cyrus on my list of people I harbour unkind feelings for. I'm sad to report that she didn't spend the years since she infamously died on The O.C. learning to act.

The Good Wife: Good Show. So far. The wife of a politician caught up in some sort of prostitution/embezzlement scandal has to go back to work as a lawyer to support the family while hubby (Mr. Big) is serving his sentence. Politics, scandal, a side of legalese...what's not to like?

The Modern Family: Brilliant. Documentary-style show about three (related) "modern" families. This is probably my favorite of the new shows this Fall. Definitely a keeper. If they pull it before episode 3, I'm going to be pissed. Watch it!

Hung: This has been on for awhile now (10 episodes into the first season), so it was new this summer and it is really, really good. High school gym teacher's house burns down so to make the extra cash to rebuild it, he becomes a male prostitute with the help of his "pimp" - an ubernerdy female friend. This is one of K's faves funny.


Weeds: I love Weeds. It might be one of my favorite shows ever, and one of the few shows where each season is better than the last, unlike so many other shows (cough...O.C....cough). Ahem. Weeds is delicious.

Gossip Girl: I don't even need to verify why I'm back for Season 3. I've been an avid fan since Season 1, Episode 1, watched in the Forgetful's TV room while I was waiting to move to the Rock. So. Good. I love Blair. And Chuck...but for very different reasons.

30 Rock: Again, don't really need to explain. If you have any questions, please consult the Emmy's. I (heart) Tina Fey.

The Hills: The bitch is you think I would miss that for anything? No. I would not. And she didn't disappoint in the first episode. The season looks like such a trainwreck...Lauren is lucky she got out when she did.

The City: I watch this to see that idiot Olivia make an ass of herself and guess what? She nailed it on the first episode and threw a hissy fit on her first day of her new job at Elle. Pathetic. Can't not watch it.

Entourage: Season 6 is almost over, I think. I'm a big fan of Vinnie and his gang of merry men. I didn't like that troll who dated E in this season though...she looked too much like a 12 year old to make me not feel uncomfortable with the whole thing. But the show is still one of my all-time favorites.

This list makes it seem like I watch a lot of TV. I really don't. I just know what I like. And a lot of these will just be saved to load onto my iPod to entertain me during ferry rides, flights, etc.

Fall TV 2009 = mostly good stuff.